Mayes v. Cartledge, Civil Action No. 6:14-4649-TMC-KFM

CourtUnited States District Courts. 4th Circuit. United States District Court of South Carolina
PartiesEdmond Jerome Mayes, # 281710, Petitioner, v. Warden Leroy Cartledge, Respondent.
Docket NumberCivil Action No. 6:14-4649-TMC-KFM
Decision Date22 July 2015

Edmond Jerome Mayes, # 281710, Petitioner,
Warden Leroy Cartledge, Respondent.

Civil Action No. 6:14-4649-TMC-KFM


July 22, 2015


The petitioner, a state prisoner proceeding pro se, seeks habeas corpus relief pursuant to Title 28, United States Code, Section 2254.

Pursuant to the provisions of Title 28, United States Code, Section 636(b)(1)(B), and Local Civil Rule 73.02(B)(2)(c) (D.S.C.), this magistrate judge is authorized to review post-trial petitions for relief and submit findings and recommendations to the district court.


The petitioner is currently incarcerated at the Walden Correctional Institution in the South Carolina Department of Corrections ("SCDC"). The petitioner was indicted by the Greenville County Grand Jury in October 2009 for resisting arrest and in September 2010 for trafficking cocaine (app. 96-99). The petitioner was represented by Scott Robinson. Julie Anders, Assistant Solicitor with the Thirteenth Circuit Solicitor's Office, represented the State. On February 8, 2011, the petitioner pled guilty to both charges before the Honorable G. Edward Welmaker, South Carolina Circuit Judge (app. 1). Judge Welmaker accepted the negotiated plea and sentenced the petitioner to concurrent ten-

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year sentences on each charge with credit for time served (app. 12-14). The petitioner did not file a direct appeal.


On May 16, 2008, Greenville County deputies attempted to serve a probation violation warrant on the petitioner while he was working as manager of a bar in Greenville County (app. 7). When the deputies stated the reason for their visit, the petitioner gave a false name and attempted to flee into the woods. When the deputies caught up with him, the petitioner approached the officers with balled fists, and he was tasered. However, the taser was ineffective, and the petitioner was on the ground kicking the arresting deputy, breaking the deputy's finger.1 Several officers were needed to subdue the petitioner (app. 8).

On February 23, 2010, the petitioner was arrested on a separate active probation violation warrant. During the search incident to his arrest, police officers discovered a plastic bag containing 10.41 grams of cocaine in the petitioner's shoe. The petitioner admitted to ownership of the cocaine (app. 8-9).


On April 18, 2011, the petitioner filed an application for post conviction relief ("PCR") (app. 16-22). The petitioner raised the following issues in his application:

(1) Ineffective Assistance of Counsel:
a. Advised the Applicant the charges were classified as non-violent and parole eligible.

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b. Failed to inform of the right to appeal.

(2) Involuntary guilty plea.

(App. 17, 22). In a pro se document titled "Amendments to Application for Post-Conviction Relief" filed February 13, 2013, the petitioner made the following allegations:

(1) Ineffective Assistance of Counsel:
a. Failure to investigate the facts surround the circumstances of the arrest.
b. Failure to assist in deciding whether to plead guilty.
c. Failure to communicate the written six year plea offer.
d. Failure to familiarize himself with the case.
e. Failure to impart an understanding of the law in relation to the facts.
f. Misadvised about the potential sentence.
g. Misadvised there was no potential defense.
h. Coerced the Applicant into pleading guilty.
i. Failure to advise about the right to appeal.

(2) Involuntary guilty plea.

(App. 23-39, 89). On behalf of the State, Assistant Attorney General Karen Ratigan made a Return on June 27, 2011 (app. 40-45).

An evidentiary hearing was conducted on February 13, 2013, before the Honorable William Jeffrey Young, South Carolina Circuit Judge (app. 47). In his Order of Dismissal filed March 15, 2013, Judge Young found that the petitioner failed to establish "any constitutional violations or deprivations before or during his guilty plea and sentencing proceedings. Counsel was not deficient and [the petitioner] was not prejudiced by counsel's representation." The petitioner's application was denied and dismissed with prejudice, and the petitioner was remanded to the custody of the respondent (app. 88-95).

PCR Appeal

The petitioner's PCR counsel timely filed a Notice of Appeal on the petitioner's behalf. Robert Pachak of the South Carolina Commission on Indigent Defense, Division of Appellate Defense, represented the petitioner on PCR appeal. Appellate counsel filed a Johnson Petition for Writ of Certiorari in the South Carolina Supreme Court on

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September 20, 2013 (doc. 15-3, Johnson pet.). See Johnson v. State, 364 S.E.2d 201, 201 (S.C. 1988) (per curiam) ("This Court has approved the withdrawal of counsel in meritless post-conviction appeals, provided the procedures outlined in Anders v. California, 386 U.S. 738, 87 S.Ct. 1396, 18 L.Ed.2d 493 (1967), were followed."). The petitioner's appellate counsel presented the following issue: "Whether plea counsel was ineffective in incorrectly advising petitioner that the charges he was pleading guilty to were classified as non-violent and parole eligible?" In conjunction with the Johnson petition, appellate counsel filed a petition to be relieved as counsel, citing that "[i]n his opinion seeking certiorari from the order of dismissal [was] without merit" (doc. 15-3, Johnson pet. at 7). The petitioner filed a pro se petition for certiorari citing no additional grounds (doc. 15-4). By order filed August 21, 2014, the South Carolina Supreme Court denied the Petition for Writ of Certiorari and granted appellate counsel's petition to be relieved (doc. 15-5). The Remittitur was issued on September 8, 2014 (doc. 15-6).


On December 10, 2014, the petitioner filed his § 2254 petition (doc. 1). On February 17, 2015, the respondent filed a motion for summary judgment (doc. 14). By order filed February 18, 2015, pursuant to Roseboro v. Garrison, 528 F.2d 309, 310 (4th Cir. 1975), the petitioner was advised of the summary judgment dismissal procedure and the possible consequences if he failed to adequately respond to the motion (doc. 16). On March 30, 2015, the petitioner filed a response in opposition to the motion for summary judgment (doc. 21).

In his federal habeas petition, the petitioner makes the following claims:

Ground One: Ineffective Assistance of Counsel

Supporting Facts: Petitioner was denied his six [sic] and [F]ourteenth Amendment Rights to an effective assistance of counsel, [i]nsofar as his trial counsel failed to provide representation and these omissions were prejudicial to his defense. My counsel failed to properly investigate the facts surrounding the circumstances that lead [sic] to my arrest. It

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has been clearly established that the amount of pre-trial research, or lack thereof, can most definitely affect the outcome of a criminal defendant[']s trial.

Ground Two: Did not knowingly or Intelligently plead guilty

Supporting Facts: (1) Counsel did not actually or substantially assist me in deciding weather [sic] to plea[d] guilty or not (2) Counsel['s] failure to communicate to me a written plea offer whereby state would recommend six-year sentence in exchange for my guilty plea (3) Counsel did not familiarize himself with the facts of the case (4) Counsel did not impart to me an understanding of the law on the relation of the facts (5) Counsel issued erroneous advice to me as to the length of sentence I would receive by entering my plea (6) Counsel "coerced" me into entering my plea, by making threats as to the length of sentence I would get by not by not plea[d]ing.

Ground Three: Coearsed [sic] into plea of guilty

Supporting Facts: In this regard, the applicant contends that his counsel[']s failure to communicate to Applicant a written plea offer whereby state would recommend a lesser sentence in exchange for my guilty plea, and that from the outset, counsel began to speak of a guilty plea, which counsel saw and portrayed as the applicant[']s only opportunity for a reduced sentence. The defense counsel has failed to inform a defendant of a plea offer, the federal courts have been unanimous in finding that such conduct constitutes a violation of the defendant[']s Sixth Amendment[] Constitutional right.

Ground Four: Counsel failed to advise client as to his rights to appeal

Supporting Facts: In addition, the counsel failed to advise me to my right to appeal. The accused is entitled to be made aware of his right to appeal, as an element of effective assistance of counsel. The applicant was not advise[d] of his right here, doubtlessly because at the time counsel misrepresentation of the facts were not clearly understood by me. None the less even if his advice or the point would have amounted to a mere formality, the accused was nonetheless entitled to at least be made aware of his right to appeal, even in the wake of his plea.

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